Hello happy readers! As you may have seen I already posted once today and now I am here with the promised second belated review. Again I am very thankful that I was provided a copy in exchange for an honest review via NetGalley. This book is also a new release that came out on 4/24 and an anticipated read for me of this year, Sky in the Deep by debut author Adrienne Young.
Raised as a Aska warrior, seventeen-year-old Eelyn fights alongside her clansmen each fighting season against the Riki clan. Her life is simple and brutal. Until the day she sees something impossible, her brother she watched die years ago fighting with the Riki. She chases after him desperate to understand what is happening and finds herself trapped in the mountains with the Riki as a prisoner. She comes to learn many truths she never wanted to know, that the Riki are not so different from her own people and the truth of what happened to her brother those years past. Still he Riki and Aska are enemies as old as time. Until one night when another ruthless class raids all of the villages Riki and Aska alike showing a common enemy may force an unlikely alliance. Beliefs and loyalties are tested and formed as war blooms.
I knew instantly from the summary and the cover I wanted to read this. A new debut that sounded epic and it was a standalone so that was even more impressive as most books I was starting/reading seemed to be part of a series. Plus it seemed like a pretty awesome story. I wasn’t wrong. I really enjoyed this debut. Eelyn is a fierce warrior and won’t let anything slow her down. We learn how the Aska live, believe, and fight. Then as things progress we get to see the same things from the Riki side. More we see the Riki side through the eyes of an Aska, one who is very upset about being there. Still as she gets to know the people, one familiar in particular she is able to see them as people rather than simply enemies.
The story has some pretty well flushed out characters. I of course loved Eelyn. I enjoyed getting to know both Riki and Aska, though it does seem we get to know more of Riki. This didn’t hit me until just now because I still felt while we spent less time with the Aska they were equally understood because our MC is Aska. Each character from Myra, Iri, Runa, Inge, Fiske, and Halvard were all different and had their own qualities both good and bad. I had some strong words for each at one time or another to be sure. Both have their own prejudices and issues to be sure as any groups with contrasting opinions normally do. More so in this regard as they have spent years past going to war with one another and that leads to a lot of bloodshed.
There is a lot of action and fighting in this one for sure but one of my favorite parts was the struggle for the characters. Warring with their beliefs and history. Trying to overcome so many years of prejudice and the like. Reconciling everything you were raised with to what you see in front of you. What is more important? What can be forgiven? I love all of that. This book had a lot of deeper meaning and struggles inside of it. It had its share of pain and loss but also hope and love. It was a full and satisfying standalone. I look forward to checking out the author’s next book.
Until next time…